Twitter, the microblogging platform for immediate text-based messsaging between friends, experts, celebrities and breaking news, remains indisputable the second most popular social networking service. Mostly used for personal messaging, it can also be used to help you grow your personal and professional healthcare social media marketing
efforts. Next I will discuss how Twitter for nurses can be used to push your personal branding
Besides the common assumptions about Twitter, it’s not just a one-way communication tool. Re-tweeting, favouriting and sending direct messages is as important as tweeting. Engaging with the community, following experts and communities, all form a part of being active on Twitter. But still, there are other recommendations on Twitter for nurses and how it can effectively help you grow your career.
One of the benefits of Twitter is that it does not require a thorough knowledge of social networking in order to use it. It has simple features which are summarized here:
1. Twitter lets you send text-based messages of 140 characters or less called tweets. It is also possible to embed audio, images and video on your tweets.
2. Although Twitter is public by default, it can also be used to send private messages, known as Direct mesages (DM). Still, it is wise to assume every online communication will be permanent and will be shared.
3. To send tweets directly to other users use the @ symbol followed by the username of that person. The user will get a notification so they don’t miss your message.
4. Use the hashtag (#) symbol to highlight or follow up on a subject. The # symbol can also be used to search for tweets relevant to a topic.
5. Similar to Facebook, it is possible to ‘like’ a tweet. Here it’s called ‘Favourite’.
6. You can create lists of users based on your preferences: colleagues, experts, surgeons or patients, for example.
7. While you can copy-paste tweets to make them look your own, it is good Twitter-etiquette to instead re-tweet messages from the users you follow.
8. If someone else follows, re-tweets or favourites you or your tweets, it’s also nice to send a tweet thanking them.
Start By Following. Here’s some Ideas
To get yourself started on Twitter I suggest following these accounts of nursing organizations and active users. I would also recommend going over them to understand how they use Twitter. These have been curated by me based on their relevancy, activity and professional use.
: American Journal of Nursing, the leading voice of nursing since 1900. Peer-reviewed, evidence-based, the most trusted source for nursing.
: RN, Career Guru for Nurses, ‘Dear Donna’ at nurse.com, blogs at DoctorOz.com & Nurse-Power.com, Keynote speaker, author, humorist.
: Night shift nurse in a busy ICU. Gotta vent somewhere…
: National Nurses United: The largest RN Union in U.S. history, with more than 165,000 nurses nationwide.
: NCSBN develops the NCLEX-RN and the NCLEX-PN exams which boards of nursing use in making licensure decisions.
: The social career resource for nurses. Tweeting daily nursing and health news. #TeamNurses
: A daily dose..er, TWEET of nursing stories, nursing program. Connect with nurses.
: Your leading source for nursing news, job opportunities and continuing education. http://Nurse.com — where the nurses are.
: I’ve seen more penises than any prostitute #NursingProblems
: Here to save your ass, not kiss it. @dixieland_frat is my twusband. #RTR #NursingProbs.
: Author of the book, Do No Harm Applies to Nurses Too! Helping create nurturing, supportive work environments by ending nurse bullying.
: RN Passionate Rebel~ Expanding Consciousness In Health Care. Founder of YogaNursing™ ~ An Accredited, Fresh Brand of Education. For Nurses + Yoga Teachers.
Tweet for Nurses. Do it Like a Pro
Also, if you want to look like a twitter professional, start inserting these hashtags in your daily tweets. You never know who’s following a topic. #ERProbs, #HealthyNurse, #NewNurse, #Nurses, #NurseProbs, #Nursing, #NursingJobs, #RN, #RNchat, #TeamNurses.
Remember that standards of ethics and professionalism are the same online as in any other circumstance. If you have any doubts about what can be shared on Twitter or any other social networking site, refer to the ANA-NCSBN guidelines on social media, which can be summarized in the following statement: “It’s never okay to share any information about patients. Don’t do it and don’t allow others to do it.”
Don’t forget, when you are not using Twitter for personal messaging, it is an excellent tool for adding value in real-time to the community and to share, engage and connect!